Responsive web design, which adapts your site to fit a range of devices, is critical to your site's success. But mobile apps are growing at an astounding rate, and not having one is a surefire way to fall behind the competition.
Apps aren't just a fun option for smartphone users; the technology relies on them. From alarms to social media to tracking your fitness and reading the news, just about everything you do on a smartphone happens in an app.
The visibility an app offers is two-fold. First, having an app on the market can help to expand your audience. Nearly all mobile applications are acquired and downloaded through the App Store for iPhones and iPads and Google Play for Android devices. Positioning your app in just these two shops puts your brand in reach of millions of users.
The accessibility of apps is a key factor in their success. Users don't want to jump through a bunch of hoops to get to your website and its features. Opening a window, remembering the address, and typing it in (or searching for it) creates a barrier of time and effort that keeps some people away. With an app, no digital gymnastics are required; your content is right there, literally at their fingertips.
Apps also make sharing easy. Optimized to work seamlessly with the other tools on a user's smartphone or tablet, good apps allow a user to send your content to their social media networks and other contacts with just the tap of the finger, driving more traffic and new users to your site.
Having an app for your website at this stage is still likely to position you ahead of your competition, elevating your brand and adding unique value to your website, while improving the experience for your readers on mobile.
Every business, whether in real life or online, is built on connection. This is higher than any other communication method currently available, and it is driving that valuable connection in the smartphone age.
Finally, apps offer a personalized user experience. Where a website is global, an app is local. It is stored on an individual's phone with its corresponding data, settings, and login information.
Apps have the potential to track and remember a person's interactions and settings, allowing the user to maximize their own experience. This in turn can increase their personal satisfaction with your brand and your website, a key catalyst for their loyalty.